Many more women are now setting up home businesses because they find corporate culture does not work with their family life or their personal ambitions. Although this is encouraging women still lag behind, if women set up businesses at the same rate as men then there would be an extra million entrepreneurs.
However, we do not want women to opt-out of the corporate culture; women are already under-represented making up only 33% of managers, directors and senior officers and only 13.3% of the FTSE 250 board members. (Sealy & Vinnicombe (2013) ‘Female FTSE Board Report 2013: False dawn of progress for women on boards?’ Cranfield School of Management)
Sheryl Sandberg in her book ‘Lean In’, she talks about starting an empowering movement of women to create a level playing field for both male and female leaders. There is a clear positive relationship between gender balance and business performance. http://bit.ly/163lAGp
For this reason I am a real advocate for the implementation of the European quota ‘Women on Boards’. Although the quota is a crude measure, I believe over 10 years it will create the fundamental cultural change that is required for a level playing field to exist.
The HBR research and Credit Suisse findings support my assumptions, ‘27% of women directors interviewed saying they “want to lead or continue leading a company”, while only 19% of their male counterparts expressed this desire. This factor alone speaks to the women’s disproportionate energy and forward momentum that drive outstanding performance. It may also account for the characterization of all-male boards as ” pale, male and stale”‘. http://huff.to/17iIyIW
Women are taking control of their own destiny but the business and society will be poorer if women continue to opt-out rather than ‘Lean In’. We need women to play their part and if that means a little discomfort for a while; think of the long view benefits and consequence of not doing it now.
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What is your view?
Janice B Gordon: The Problem Solver Business Growth Consultant, Mentor, Speaker and Author. Business Evolution – Creating Growth in a Rapidly Changing World will give you the guidance you need to evolve you and your business and exceed your customers wants and needs.